Every day, throughout Newport, tour guides and others engaged in serving our visitors have multiple opportunities to cross-sell one or more other Newport properties, events, and attractions. The best time to suggest an additional Newport venue, mansion, restaurant, or activity is when you are in one-on-one personal contact with a guest. Cross-selling is a simple, inexpensive strategy to increase visitor purchases, repeat visits, and guest satisfaction. Try it.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Now is the time to take advantage of this season’s rich learning opportunities during these long days of winter.  There are numerous workshops, exhibitions, and lectures listed below. In the interim, add more reading to your diet  – history, architecture, Newport stories – to continue building your foundation of knowledge.

TOURISM JOBS – HIRING BEGINS

Hiring for the Spring and Summer season begins now and will continue through the Fall. Most of the largest tour and cruise businesses accept job applications year-round. Job openings include tour guides, boat crew, ticket sales, and a variety of support staff. Historic Tours of Newport is looking for a Driver CDL Bus/Trolley with Passenger Endorsement to also narrate tours (historictoursofnewport.com). (Sightsailing of Newport (sightsailing.com) is now looking for crew members for Sightsailer, their 46-foot sloop.  Sailing season begins in May.  The Preservation Society of Newport County is now looking to hire Ticket Sales Associates (newportmansions.org).

UPCOMING HIRING EVENT: Be sure to make a note now to attend the Newport County Chamber Of Commerce Annual Expo & Job Fair 2018 on March 20th.  Meanwhile, be open to the temporary jobs available this month and next that may lead to a fuller schedule of work.  Watch for new job postings at www.WhatsUpNewp.com  web site and at www.Facebook.com/NewportTourGuidesandGreeters.  

SPEAKERS & PRESENTATIONS THIS MONTH

Check out the wide selection of lectures, exhibits, talks, classes, and workshops to add to your knowledge and increase your understanding of the people and history of greater Newport.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2 – WINTER EXHIBITIONS OPENING RECEPTION

Welcome the latest shows at the Newport Art Museum at this grand opening reception.  Cash bar. 5pm – 7pm. Members: Free; Non-Members: $10 suggested donation.  Newport Art Museum, 76 Bellevue Avenue. Newport.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3 – WINTER SPEAKER SERIES

The 90th Annual Winter Speaker series continues at 2pm with Carol Troyan, discussing “The Stories Behind the Art of Edward Hopper.”  2pm. Newport Art Museum, 76 Bellevue Avenue. Newport.

Sunday, FEBRUARY 4 – MOTORS & MIMOSAS

Motors & Mimosas will be the theme at the Audrain Auto Museum (222 Bellevue Avenue, Newport; 401/856-4420) in partnership with La Forge Casino Restaurant. Visitors will enjoy mimosas and pastries while viewing the current exhibit, Grand Touring Cars Through the Decades. Tickets: $15. 10 am – 12 Noon.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6

Tonight is the third class in a weekly 4-part mini-course on The Architects & Architecture of the Newport Mansions. Led by Abigail Stewart, Education & Interpretive Specialist with The Preservation Society of Newport County, this education series will explore the architecture styles that define the properties of the Preservation Society. Classes held at 6 pm at the Preservation Society offices, 424 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Advance reservations required.  Register online (newportmansions.org) or call 401-847-1851.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7 – Black History Month Lecture – 7pm – 9pm

This lecture, The Business of Slavery: Evidence of Control, Power, and Wealth, will be presented by Christine King Mitchell, Historic Interpreter, Old Slave Mart Museum in Charlestown, SC. The lecture is hosted by Channing Memorial Church (135 Pelham Street, Newport) and co-sponsored with the Newport Middle Passage Port Marker Project.  7pm – 9pm. Lecture with discussion to follow. Dessert and Decaf Coffee Served. $5 suggested donation.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8 – Free Illustrated Lecture – The Great New England Hurricane of 1938 – 11am-Noon

Visitors to Newport often ask about the impact of this historic storm that devastated parts of southern New England. Sara Jaworski of Historic New England will discuss the impact and aftermath of the ’38 Hurricane (September 21, 1938) at Rosecliff on February 8th at 11am. This free lecture sponsored by the Preservation Society of Newport County. Advance registration is required at www.newportmansions.org.  

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15 – SEAN O’BRIEN IS “DR. HUNTER”

On Thursday February 15, 2018, at 5:30pm, the Newport Historical Society will recreate aspects of Dr. Hunter’s talk when they host an 18th century medical lecture. Dr. Hunter, portrayed by first person interpreter Seán O’Brien, will share insight on the latest medical knowledge from England while discussing remedies and cures that are available at his 18th century apothecary shop.  A selection of Dr. Hunter’s products, made by Caswell-Massey, will be available for purchase. This event takes place at the Colony House on Washington Square, the same location where the medical lectures originally took place. General admission costs $5 per person or $1 for Newport Historical Society members along with active duty and retired military.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16 – Newport Winter Festival Begins

Opening Day:  30th Annual Newport Winter Festival.  Ask about volunteer and possible work opportunities. There are more than 150 events with food fun & music. This event runs through Sunday, February 25th. More information available from Winter Festival Office: 401/847-7666.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24 – Educational Program: 10AM – 1PM

In the mid-18th century, Newport was the fifth wealthiest city in colonial America. What jobs were people doing that helped the city become so successful? Join the Newport Historical Society to learn how people made their living. During this colonial career fair, costumed interpreters will represent different occupations that would have been present in this seaport. Jobs range from trades people like a printer, milliner and leather worker to merchants such as a toy seller and store owner, along with food service jobs such as a baker, brewer, coffeehouse owner and tavern keeper. This program takes place at the Colony House on Washington Square. Admission is free, donations are welcome.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25 – PIERRE CARDIN EXHIBIT CLOSES AT ROSECLIFF

The internationally-renowned Pierre Cardin: 70 Years of Innovation exhibition has been resident at Rosecliff mansion for the past seven months. Originally scheduled to close on January 1st, the exhibit’s popularity has caused an extension through February 25th.  Go experience this one-of-a-kind exhibit before it closes.  

UPCOMING NOTEWORTHY EVENTS: MARCH & APRIL

Tell your guests about these upcoming special events and lectures. It’s a great way to help them extend their current time here or plan a return visit to the City-by-the-Sea.

SPECIAL TOURS

The Breakers continues offering the new guided tour first launched in 2017 — “Beneath the Breakers” — throughout the winter. Tours begin every hour on the half hour from 9:30am – 3:30pm and are one hour in length. At The Elms, their world-famous guided “Servant Life Tour” is offered throughout the winter at 10:30am, 12 noon, 2pm, and 3:30pm.  

FRIDAY, MARCH 9

The Museum of Newport Irish History [newportirishhistory.org] will offer special opening hours (Noon to 6 pm) for six days during Irish Heritage Month in March, beginning on Friday, March 9th.  The museum at 648 Lower Thames Street in Newport will be open March 9, 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18.  The regular season starts with a grand re-opening Memorial Day Weekend, beginning on Saturday, May 26th.  Learn here about Irish immigration to Newport County and the key aspects of Irish influence and contributions to life in Newport.

SATURDAY, MARCH 17 – St. Patrick’s Day Parade – 11AM

At 11 am, the 62nd Annual Newport Rhode Island Saint Patrick’s Day Parade will step off in front of Newport City Hall on Broadway.  There will numerous events and activities at Newport’s many bars and restaurants all along the parade route and elsewhere in the city.

TUESDAY, MARCH 20 – Expo & Job Fair – 4PM – 7PM

NEWPORT COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNUAL EXPO & JOB FAIR 2018. Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina. One Goat Island, Newport, RI 02840. Info: 401/847-1600

SATURDAY, MARCH 24 – Exhibit Opening

Bohemian Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement & Oscar Wilde’s Newport.  Opening day: March 24.  A new exhibition at Rosecliff.  Open daily through November 4th. 9am until 5pm. Additional information available at: newportmansions.org

THURSDAY, APRIL 5 – Rough Point Re-Opens

The Newport Restoration Foundation’s (NRF) historic Rough Point mansion will re-open on Thursday, April 5th for Guided Tours. The Foundation will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. This year its exhibitions, as posted on its website (newportrestoration.org) will be: “‘To Preserve and Restore’: Newport Restoration Foundation at 50,”  and “A Hand in Design: Exquisite Drawings of Jewelry and Architecture for Doris Duke.” a collaboration between NRF and David Webb New York, jewelry designer to Duke and many other prominent figures from 1948 to the present.”  Rough Point will be open for tours through November 11th. Don’t miss this.  

BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

The best leaders, guides, and managers of historic sites, mansions, and tour companies read constantly to know the most about the places they work and to learn the latest research about the places they talk about to their guests.

Here is another classic book to read, learn from, and share.

Rhode Island: A History. By William G. McLoughlin.  New York: W.W. Norton, 1986. This classic history is prefaced with a concise “An Historical Guide to Rhode Island” that begins with Colonial Newport. The author is decidedly pro-Rhode Island and he lays out our history in a way that is accessible and in other ways inspires the reader to realize he is being exposed to history that matters and impacted the founding of our nation. More importantly, the book gives the reader an understanding of the state’s most significant history related to religious freedom, independence from Britain, development of shipping and transportation, the slave trade, the birth of the country’s industrial revolution, and the state’s growth after the war. This book will be useful for anyone new to the state and also as a reference and refresher for all of us about the state’s long rich history.  

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PROUDFOOT is a documentary film producer, tour guide, and author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).

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Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.